To start out, i do not have anything against any of Nintendo development teams or other employees, so i would never want any hate or negative feelings towards anyone working for them.
On the other hand Nintendo is a multi-billion dollar company and their business decisions this year and some dating back til before this year have been questionable at best and downright abusive at worst. I don't want to start any hate or similar, but Nintendo as a company has over the last couple of years started to unsettle me with their business decisions and treatment of their community.
To give some examples of recent events that inspired this;
- First their shutdown of the smash melee tournament "the big house" over the use of emulators and modifications of their melee copies trough the use of slippy.
- Cancellation of a recent splatoon broadcast due to the participants support for the free melee movement.
- Cease and desist of "etikons" sold exclusively to raise funds for a charity in memory of the diseased creator Etika.
The problem with these is that 1. the use of emulators is also done by Nintendo themselves in among others the mario 3D all stars collection and NSO nes and snes games. And the fact that the activity is fully legal. In addition to the difficulties hosting a tournament in a pandemic. 2. Suppressing the voices of their community trough suppressing other community events and 3. threatening legal action against an individual selling products using their IPs for a charitable cause whilst larger companies are doing the exact same, whilst earning money of that themselves also without a partnership with Nintendo.
- A couple other reasons predating recent times, some on legal issues, some on toxic treatment of community and game franchises:
- Threatening legal action and similar towards legal use of emulation and game file modification.
- Threatening legal action and similar towards non-profit fan projects, and without further reason, explanation or sympathy for creators.
- Rushed development of recent Pokémon games and a neglect of innovation and fan feedback. Likely in the face of developers working for GameFreak, who likely want to do more with the games. (note: Nintendo is a majority shareholder for the Pokémon company who essentially controlls GameFreak)
- A neglect of JoyCon drift issues outside of the American region.
- Sale of low effort re-releases of older Nintendo titles under the same 60$/60€ price as new games.
- Controversies over the paper Mario direction
- A notoriously strict company etiquette where senior producers have all say and the junior employees/developers who often have more up to date ideas are suppressed.
And more but i can't remember everything. Keep in mind the size of Nintendo and their potential for good community treatment and innovation in the face of several other developers and companies who treat their community with more respect.
The possible solution:
Nintendo is known for looking at sales and drawing conclusions of earnings and sales excursively, and not on consumer feedback. Thus a #FreeMelee or similar campaign on twitter and other social media is likely to lead nowhere. Nintendo is also known to only care about their image in the sense that they create an identity for themselves, and enforce this identity trough marketing and suppression of others who embrace a different identity, like say modders and users of emulators tough non-company endorsed methods. They support user generated content if it is trough one of their endorsed platforms like Mario maker and smash stage editor (which is great that they have).
Thus the best way to make our voices heard is trough their earnings, their sales. aka. a boycott.
I know, i know, this sounds drastic. And yes, the idea of a boycott and other similar protests that go at the expense of a companies earnings like strikes, has become more and more extreme and out there in modern times, especially in the US. But in honesty boycotts are a completely normal way of expressing ones opinions of companies throughout history and still are in large parts of the world, and are completely normal and for a reason; because they are effective.
Also this is different from say boycotting advertisers from YouTube. That puts the livelihood of many creators at risk, whilst a boycott of a large company like Nintendo will just put a dent in their earnings, though they are going to notice it.
Just like avoid buying that switch game for your family member for Christmas, cancel your switch online for some time, avoid buying that new game you wanted to play on switch, maybe just play in on another platform. And make sure it is widespread, the holiday season is a particularly lucrative time for Nintendo, and NSO memberships are easily noticed. Get the word out there, and make it known why it is done. So that Nintendo know that they should respect their own community, their employees and their game series. Lets make Nintendo a source of light and not darkness.
Thanks for reading i hope you are all doing okay out there, these are not great times. Don't stress over it all, you will make it just fine. And have a great Christmas, Noël, Navidad, Natale, クリスマス, Jul, Weihnachte; whatever you call it. Hope you are doing great and thnx again 🤍
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